Valerie June

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Valerie June
Valerie June.jpg
June in 2013
Background information
Birth name Valerie June Hockett
Born (1982-01-10) January 10, 1982 (age 34)
Jackson, Tennessee, United States
Origin Memphis, Tennessee, United states
Genres Americana, Folk, blues, soul, gospel, bluegrass
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist
Instruments Guitar, banjo, ukulele
Years active Early 2000s–present
Labels Sunday Best (UK/Europe); Concord Music Group (North America)
Associated acts Bella Sun, The Wandering

Valerie June Hockett (born January 10, 1982),[1] known as Valerie June, is an Americana singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, Tennessee, United States.[2][3] Her sound encompasses a mixture of folk, blues, gospel, soul, country, Appalachian and bluegrass.[4] She is signed to Sunday Best label in the UK/Europe and Concord Music Group in North America.

Early life[edit]

Born in Jackson, Tennessee on January 10, 1982, June was the oldest of five children. As a child growing up in Humboldt, June was exposed to gospel music at her local church and R&B and soul music via her father.[2][5][6] As a teenager, her first job was with her father – a promoter for gospel singers and Prince, K-Ci & JoJo, and Bobby Womack – helping him hang posters in town.[6][7]

Valerie June performs at Byron Bay Bluesfest, 2014.

Musical career[edit]

June relocated to Memphis in 2000 and began recording and performing at the age of 19, initially with her then-husband Michael Joyner, in the duo Bella Sun.[2] After her marriage ended she began working as a solo artist, combining blues, gospel and Appalachian folk, in a style that she describes as "organic moonshine roots music", and learning guitar, banjo, and lap-steel guitar.[2][3] She became associated with the Memphis-based Broken String Collective.[6][8]

In 2009 she was a featured artist on MTV's online series $5 Cover (following the lives of Memphis musicians attempting to make ends meet),[2][3][9][10][11] and in 2010 she recorded the EP Valerie June and the Tennessee Express, a collaboration with The Old Crow Medicine Show.

In 2011 she was honored by the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission at the Emissaries of Memphis Music event.[12] She raised funds to record an album with producer Craig Street via, raising $15,000 in 60 days.[13][14] Later that year she relocated from Memphis to Williamsburg, Brooklyn.[2] Shortly after, record producer Kevin Augunas introduced June to Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, which led to the recording of June's album Pushin' Against a Stone in July 2011, which was co-written and produced by Dan Auerbach and Kevin Augunas.[2]

In 2012, June performed with producer John Forté on a collaboration called Water Suites (on the hip-hop-blues song "Give Me Water"), and with Meshell Ndegeocello on the song "Be My Husband".[15] She contributed the The Wandering's 2012 album Go on Now, You Can't Stay Here: Mississippi Folk Music Volume III.[16] In 2012 she performed in the United Kingdom for the first time, playing at Bestival and appearing on Later... with Jools Holland.[2][17]

She has received substantial radio play in Europe on BBC Radio 6, including a feature on Cerys on 6 with Cerys Matthews. Mary Anne Hobbs of XFM has said of June "This woman has already touched my heart, she really, really has."[18]

In February 2013, June was invited to support Jake Bugg on the UK leg of his tour.[19] In March 2013, June performed two nights at South By Southwest. The first performance was on March 14 as part of the Heartbreaker Banquet. On March 16, June performed again, this time as part of The Revival Tour.[20][21]

After self-releasing three albums, her debut album as a signed artist, Pushin' Against a Stone, was released in the UK and Europe through Sunday Best Recordings on May 6, 2013, and through Concord Music Group in August 2013.[2][22][23] The album includes several songs co-written with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who co-produced it with Kevin Augunas.[2] The album was so titled to commemorate the story of her life. June said "I feel I've spent my life pushing against a stone. And the jobs I've had have been fitting for getting a true feel for how the traditional artists I loved came home after a hard day to sit on the porch and play tunes until bedtime."[24] The record includes performances by Booker T. Jones, who co-wrote one of the songs contained on the album. The track "Workin' Woman Blues" was produced and engineered by Peter Sabák in Budapest. June has described the recording of the song as "magical" as it was completed in approximately 30 minutes.[25]

The two singles released in the UK and Europe were "Workin' Woman Blues" and "You Can't Be Told".[26]

In 2014, June was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Best New Artist Debut' category for Pushin' Against a Stone.[27]



Year Album Peak positions Certifications


2006 The Way of the Weeping Willow  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
2008 Mountain of Rose Quartz  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
2013 Pushin' Against a Stone 26 56 23 34 29 51 41


Year EP
2010 Valerie June and The Tennessee Express


Year Single Peak positions Album


2012 "Workin' Woman Blues" 63
 –  –  –  –
2012 "You Can't Be Told"  –  –  –  –  –

with Bella Sun[edit]

  • No Crystal Stair (2004), Bella Sun Music


  1. ^ Hubbell, John (2009) "$5 Cover in profile: Valerie June -- Down to Earth", The Commercial Appeal, May 28, 2009, retrieved November 1, 2012  – via HighBeam (subscription required) (aged 27 in May 2009)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Barnett, Laura (2012) "One to watch: Valerie June", The Observer, 30 September 2012, retrieved 31 October 2012
  3. ^ a b c Leggett, Steve "Valerie June Biography", Allmusic, retrieved October 31, 2012
  4. ^ Valerie June Biography", Allmusic, retrieved October 31, 2012
  5. ^ Boone, Joe (2010) "The Musician's Progress", The Daily News, September 2, 2010, retrieved October 31, 2012
  6. ^ a b c Lachno, James (2013) "Valerie June - New Faces", Daily Telegraph, February 23, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2013
  7. ^ Smith, William Michael (2012) "Tennessee Time", Houston Press, March 14, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2013
  8. ^ Jordan, Mark (2007) "Broken String 's new releases seem a bit frayed", 'The Commercial Appeal, June 15, 2007, retrieved November 1, 2012  – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  9. ^ "" Profiles - Valerie June", Retrieved March 30, 2013
  10. ^ "Valerie June, Fille Catatonique", The Commercial Appeal, retrieved October 31, 2012
  11. ^ Beifuss, John (2010) "Memphis films earn regional Emmys -- 'I Am a Man,' '$5 Cover Amplified'", The Commercial Appeal, February 2, 2010, retrieved November 1, 2012  – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  12. ^ Jordan, Mark (2011) "Music Commission to honor 8 women -- Event serves to inspire girls to pursue industry", The Commercial Appeal, March 21, 2011, retrieved November 1, 2012  – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  13. ^ Melvin, Lindsay (2011) "Capital idea -- Fundraising sites help creative types tap online donors to sponsor projects", The Commercial Appeal, March 20, 2011, retrieved November 1, 2012
  14. ^ "Valerie June captures “Little Ole Sound” on a sparkling, NEW record: Manifest", Retrieved March 30, 2013
  15. ^ Thompson, Stephen (2012) "Song Premiere: Meshell Ndegeocello With Valerie June, 'Be My Husband'", NPR, July 18, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2013
  16. ^ Lewis, Catherine P. (2012), "The Wandering/Luther Dickinson album review", The Washington Post, May 11, 2012, retrieved November 1, 2012  – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  17. ^ "Later... with Jools Holland", BBC, retrieved October 31, 2012
  18. ^ "'Workin' Woman Blues - Valerie June",, November 2, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2013
  19. ^ "Valerie June: 'I Think Country Blues Has Influenced Everything'",, February 18, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2013
  20. ^ [1][dead link]
  21. ^ "The Revival Tour @ SXSW". Revival Tour. 2013-03-15. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  22. ^ Smyth, David (2013) "Valerie June Interview: No Strictly Roots", Evening Standard, March 8, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2013
  23. ^ "Pushin' Against A Stone",
  24. ^ "Valerie June - Workin' Woman Blues",, October 6, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2013
  25. ^ "Global Beats: Americana - Part Two on BBC World Service", Retrieved March 5, 2016
  26. ^ "Valerie June Announces New Single 'You Can't Be Told' Plus More UK 2013 Live Dates", Retrieved March 30, 2013
  27. ^ "2014 Blues Music Awards Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  28. ^ a b "Valery June discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  29. ^ a b "Valery June discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "Valery June discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  31. ^ a b "Valery June discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  32. ^ a b "Valery June discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  33. ^ "Valery June discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  34. ^ "Valerie June discography". Billboard. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 

External links[edit]